Server-Side JavaScript remains in maintenance mode. ExactTarget will add no new functionality to Server-Side JavaScript, and users should consider AMPscript instead to craft more performant solutions for email messages and landing pages.

This guide contains conceptual, procedural, and scenario information about using server-side JavaScript with the ExactTarget application. You can use server-side JavaScript to personalize landing pages and create applications to run on the ExactTarget platform. 

What Is Server-Side JavaScript

The ExactTarget application uses JavaScript code processed by the ExactTarget servers. You can use server-side JavaScript with landing pages. Instead of using the browser to render the JavaScript on the client-side computer, the ExactTarget application executes the JavaScript on the server when the landing page is built.

Server-side JavaScript does not work with the DOM and will not function with exterior libraries. Instead, you can use libraries provided by the ExactTarget application to create server-side JavaScript that works within landing pages. All functions native to JavaScript, such as arrays, math functions, the EVAL function, and try catch blocks, will work with server-side JavaScript.

Why Use Server-Side JavaScript

You can duplicate the functionality of AMPscript using server-side JavaScript. However, server-side JavaScript can also handle more advanced procedures:

  • You can use arrays in your server-side JavaScript.
  • You can use more advanced exception handling with server-side JavaScript.

If you are already familiar with JavaScript, you can immediately begin to use that knowledge in creating your landing pages.

Should I Use AMPscript or Server-Side JavaScript

You should exclusively use AMPscript in email messages and reserve your use of server-side JavaScript to landing pages and applications.

From there, several factors may influence your choice to use one language over another:

  • AMPscript can simply and efficiently handle inline personalization or simple IF ELSE statements.
  • AMPscript can better handle use cases where each subscriber needs to see unique content than can server-side JavaScript.
  • AMPscript can present a shorter learning curve than server-side JavaScript for users new to scripting languages in general.
  • A great deal of people already know JavaScript and can immediately apply that knowledge to the ExactTarget application.

 

In general, the vast majority of users can handle the tasks they need to perform using AMPscript. Server-side JavaScript should only be used to accomplish tasks on landing pages where AMPscript does not provide appropriate functions. Ultimately, many factors help determine which language helps you complete your task in the most elegant and efficient manner possible. However, the above factors can help you make a more informed decision. Consult your ExactTarget representative or our Global Support team if you have any further questions about which language to use.

How To Use Server-Side JavaScript

Server-side JavaScript interacts with the ExactTarget application via several libraries. Write your code to work with these libraries in order to work with the information in your ExactTarget account. These libraries allow server-side JavaScript to be updated while maintaining previous versions in order to avoid breaking preexisting code. You can use all commands and syntax outlined in the JavaScript specifications as part of your server-side JavaScript offerings.

Review the pages below for the syntax and sample code necessary to use server-side JavaScript with the ExactTarget application.

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Last updated by ryan.williams at 10:30, 8 Apr 2014